Being more productive at work means working smarter, not harder (or longer) and getting the most out of the hours you spend in the office. Sometimes, however, people find their workdays spiral out of control even when they start each morning with a set plan and to-do list. Consider these tips and tricks to help maximize the minutes of your workday for optimal productivity and efficiency.
Scared of accumulating too much student debt? Afraid that years in college may not really prepare you for the job you desire? Here are 3 career alternatives that you can embark upon right after high school graduation to start earning and doing, rather than waiting years to create your future career.
With student loan debt being around nearly $40,000 per person, it’s understandable why so many people are opting out of college. However, that doesn’t mean that they can live without some form of work. Fortunately for them, there are plenty of careers that pay well, offer a nice income, and don’t require a college degree. Here’s a look at three of the most promising ones.
Real Estate Agent
In general, those who are good at sales stand to make quite a bit of money. Since most sales jobs pay based on commission, the amount of income you can make is potentially higher than many other jobs. You’re paid based on your performance. Being a real estate agent is one such sales career. A real estate agent makes pretty decent money. You make money based on commission. Commission is a percentage of each home sold, typically 6-7%. Nationwide, real estate agents make between $62,000 and $90,000 a year. Most real estate professionals bypass college and go to real estate school instead, where they learn about real estate law, contracts, and other important information pertaining to selling houses or commercial property.
Firefighters bring a widerange of skills to the job, including, of course, firefighting skills as well as people and animal rescue techniques and medical training. In order to do their jobs effectively and to maintain a degree of safety, firefighters must also have a high level of physical fitness. Each city has its own requirements for becoming a firefighter. Usually, would-be firefighters can receive job-specific training by the fire service. However, there are often community classes that will also prepare future firefighters for the job, at least to a certain degree. This job doesn’t usually require a degree, however. Income is dependent on the state where you fight fires. The highest-paid firefighters make more than $75,000 a year.
With the existence of online training companies like Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, it’s entirely possible to learn how to do web design or web development for a fraction of the cost of a bachelor’s degree. While many hiring bosses still look for candidates who have a BA or a BS, many will now consider hiring people based on their portfolios. Designers need some basic skills, like the ability to draw, the ability to use design programs, and the ability to work well with clients.Many designers without a degree will post their work to their social media accounts so that it can be seen by people in their industry. They’ll also attend trade shows and other industry events so that they can meet people in the industry who might help them to get a job down the road. Graphic designers make up to $71,000 a year. Getting a well-paying job these days doesn’t always require a degree, and with the average debt of most college students being in the mid-double digits, it’s easy to understand why more and more people are opting out of a university degree. The key to making a nice living is to find a job that pays well without a degree. These jobs usually require some sort of on-the-job training or a certification course. However, many people working today teach themselves the skills they need to do the job they want, allowing them to save money on a degree and dive right into their chosen field.
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LeBron. The Kardashians. Taylor. Ryan. Snoop.... The list goes on and on. You - and/or those you love and care about - may place a great deal of emphasis on celebrities, top athletes, and social media stars as role models. But, what are the real dangers of doing so? This article has important cautionary info for parents, and really, for all of us today.
Due to their consistent presence in our lives and the fact that impressionable people such as children tend to take cues from them, celebrities are often thought of as role models. Even if a celebrity denies this status or obligation, it can be hard for their audience not to not hold them up to exaggerated expectations. If you look to celebrities as role models, these are some things to be aware of.
Their Image May Be Manufactured
Celebrities often seem to be utterly poised, to have the most attractive appearance and to make the wittiest observations in interviews. In most cases, however, these aren't qualities they were just born with. Celebrities and their teams strive to create an image of being relatable and likable. This effort shouldn't necessarily be viewed unfavorably, and many celebrities are naturally charismatic, but people ought to use discretion in considering how a celebrity is able to charm the public through practiced communication skills.
Your Idea of Them May Get Destroyed
There have been plenty of celebrities whose reputations have been shattered due to incredibly disturbing revelations about their behavior. Even if something is just hearsay, it can still be quite unsettling. The latest celebrity gossip can range from the strange to personal issues that may bring you down. To better support your self-esteem, you should learn to detach yourself from what celebrities do. It can be difficult to find out someone you admire has done some very bad things, but it's easier when you don't have sky-high expectations of them.
You're Accountable for Your Actions
Regardless of your influences, you must hold yourself accountable for your own actions. If you do something wrong and your only defense is that a celebrity also did it, you'll be making a flawed argument that will not absolve you. You should discuss this with your children since young people often have trouble recognizing that bad behavior isn't okay just because a famous person displays it. If you have this conversation after someone famous is exposed for doing something wrong, the impression will stick with your kids for a long while.
When you place a celebrity on a pedestal, you can forget that they're merely human and that their wealth and fame don't prevent them from making mistakes. Remembering this can help to keep your beliefs and actions in check. While it's fine to admire celebrities for their exceptional qualities, make sure you're not holding them to a standard no one could possibly meet.
Looking for more advice on how to help your children become the best adults they can? Read 5 Ways to Empower Kids to End Bullying next.
Advice for Employers for Recruiting and Retaining the Workers of Generation Z
(BPT) - The U.S. workforce is in the midst of an influx with 65 million workers from Generation Z beginning to look for jobs, according to BridgeWorks Consulting. This group of workers, born after 1997, do not remember a time without the internet and have grown up in a post-2008 recession era of financial responsibility, meaning what motivates them differs greatly from previous generations.
The combination of Gen Zers’ financially savvy, entrepreneurial spirit and their deeply rooted relationship with technology means employers need to reassess and diversify the ways they interact with and what they offer candidates. This also creates challenges in identifying the groups’ reason for choosing a field or job, placing the pressure on the hiring business or brand to stand out as an attractive experience.
“With this generation, the onus is on employers to learn how to relate to and attract their next employees,” said Kristen Wahl, director of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the current Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks.
EcoCAR’s recent study of college students participating in the competition revealed two key insights that translate across industries and may help employers of all types better understand who their co-workers and employees of the future will be.
Tech is integral to all aspects of their lives
Gen Z hasn’t known a time without access to infinite information at their fingertips as smartphones debuted when many were infants. Easy access to information has allowed Gen Zers to be curious learners and interact with companies and brands much earlier than generations past.
The study shows job seekers are likely to engage with online articles (62 percent) and videos (61 percent) along with other content on social media, which can be a great starting point for hiring companies to build their relationship with the Gen Z workforce. These insights apply to all companies — from large national companies to local small businesses — and are easily attainable through a variety of online channels.
“Our insights show interaction between Gen Z and employers must start before the next hiring cycle or career fairs,” said Wahl. “Employers of all sizes should be aware how their future employees interact with their brand before they are looking to hire.”
Personal and career growth are imperative
Gen Zers are seen as self-starters that take pride and responsibility for their own career paths with 76 percent believing they are culpable for driving their own career trajectory and 42 percent with hopes of self-employment, according to Concordia University-St. Paul. The entrepreneurial work ethic and concerns of financial security can explain the emphasis placed on professional and personal growth. Our research shows young job seekers agree on the importance of career advancement opportunities (98 percent), competitive wages (97 percent) and personal learning and development opportunities (96 percent). Regardless of industry or job-level, Gen Zers see a link between personal and professional growth and seek employers who share that thinking.
“Employers who can reach prospective job seekers early in their process and then deliver a fulfilling day-to-day experience with proper compensation will be prepared to both attract and retain the incoming wave of young workers,” said Wahl.
It’s not always easy staying organized. Life is busy, chaotic and fast-moving. Although it can be easy to get discouraged at times, there are ways to enhance organization and attitude through the peaks and pits life throws at you. In this article, Carol Lavin Bernick, former executive chairman of beauty conglomerate Alberto Culver, offers her perspective on what it really means to be successful.
6 Keys to Success in Business and Life
(Family Features) It's not always easy staying organized. Life is busy, chaotic and fast-moving. Although it can be easy to get discouraged at times, there are ways to enhance organization and attitude through the peaks and pits life throws at you.
Carol Lavin Bernick, former executive chairman of beauty conglomerate Alberto Culver, published "Gather As You Go: Lessons Learned Along the Way," a book sharing insights she's learned through her many roles as a corporate leader, working mother, philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit organization Enchanted Backpack. Bernick offers these tips to be ready for the good times and difficult situations, highlighting the importance of loving what you are doing in both business and life.
Find more tips and inspiration at gatherasyougo.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Gather As You Go
Success can be defined in so many ways. But what does it really take to achieve it? Whether it’s financial success, personal life success, or any other type of success, all types of success are dependent on a few key influencing factors. Here are three things that you need in order to be successful in all areas of life.
According to Career Addict, the building blocks of success start with motivation. All of the opportunity in the world does not mean a thing if you are not internally motivated to be successful. People who are more driven to succeed will naturally have an easier time reaching all of their life's goals. With sufficient motivation, you will not give up at the first setback. Motivated people are able to push through roadblocks, manage their time more effectively, and boost their self-confidence as they reach goals along the way. While motivation is primarily an inherent characteristic, you can make yourself more motivated by setting clear goals and rewarding yourself for meeting them.
The cornerstone of success is a solid education. According to Daymond John’s Success Formula, education offers countless benefits, including increasing networking potential, connects you to mentors, helps you channel negative energy, and more. While many people associate education with formal schooling, it can actually come from a variety of outside sources. Internships, on the job training, and mentorships are all excellent ways to prepare yourself to be a success in life. Knowing what to do in a variety of situations will help you to present yourself in a positive way and increase your chances of becoming successful in everything that you do.
According to Self Love Beauty, the most successful people in life are those with a solid support system. It is important to surround yourself with people who encourage your efforts. Whether that support comes from family members, close friends, teachers, or bosses, leaning into your support system will help you to achieve all of your goals. Do not ever hesitate to ask for help when needed. Savvy leaders recognize the importance of relying on others as they work their way up to the top of their field. Lean on your people and then return the favor to them.
The journey to success should be fun. You should always be striving to be a better version of your current self. Focusing on improving your life in all areas will naturally make you a more successful person in all facets of life. Believe in yourself and you can do anything.
Although there are many reasons to feel stressed in the workplace, productivity is often at the root. After all, productive employees are often perceived as the most valuable employees and when productivity fails, it tends to put everyone on edge. Take a proactive role in improving your own productivity with these ideas.
Plan to make productivity a priority
(Family Features) Although there are many reasons to feel stressed in the workplace, productivity is often at the root. After all, productive employees are often perceived as the most valuable employees and when productivity fails, it tends to put everyone on edge.
Concerns about productivity are broadly founded. They may be related to your self-assessment of your own performance, or it could be that a manager is demanding more. Or maybe you’re collaborating with a team of peers and are struggling to find your footing, and collectively productivity is down.
Productivity is not only good for business; it’s good for worker morale, too. A productive work day can produce a sense of accomplishment and pride, and may result in a less stressful work environment. You can take a proactive role in improving your own productivity with these ideas.
1. Face a challenge head on. Procrastination can be the ultimate roadblock to productivity. For many, that means saving the least desired task on your to-do lists for the end of the day. However, by the end of the day, it’s too easy to delay the task until tomorrow. Instead, start the day with your least desired task. This is when you’ll have the most energy and you’ll kick off your day feeling accomplished, ready to tackle whatever comes next.
2. Be intentional with your time. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can help you have a more productive day. When you feel your energy start to wane, give yourself a timeout. Take a 15-minute walk, run the stairs or spend some time drawing in your notebook. Over the course of a week, pay attention to your schedule and start to plan your meetings and tasks around breaks so you’re working during periods of the day when you’re the most energized.
3. Capture ideas when they come. Let’s face it: not every great idea arrives at the ideal moment. While it’s possible to key your ideas immediately into your smartphone, that can come with multiple obnoxious distractions. However, trying to recreate that flash of inspiration at a more opportune time more often than not falls short with missing details.
An option like the Bamboo Slate smartpad allows you to write naturally with pen on any paper without the social media notifications and email alerts. With the push of a button, you can then convert your handwritten notes into “living” digital files. With Wacom Inkspace, you can organize, edit and share your notes and sketches on your enabled smartphone, tablet or other devices. In case you’re not near your mobile device when inspiration strikes, you can store up to 100 pages on your smartpad and sync later. Learn more at bamboo.wacom.com.
4. Identify areas for collaboration. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The key is knowing yourself well enough to know when you need to ask for help to be more productive. Wasting time on tasks you don’t excel in can slow everyone down. Rather, find others whom you can collaborate with and learn from to help you improve your productivity over time.
5. Stay organized. When you’re working under continuous deadlines, things can really start to pile up – literally. Digging through a mess to find the report containing the data you need or the invoice to cross reference is a waste of precious time. Allow the clutter to build during the work day if you must, but make it a goal to never leave the office without bringing some order to the day’s chaos. Coming in each morning to a desk that is de-cluttered and ready for the day ahead can be a big productivity booster.
Learn to Make Lists with Purpose
List-making has long been revered as the classic time management tool, and technology makes it easier than ever to blend this analog task with your digital world by using smart notebooks like the Bamboo Slate to create an online to-do list.
Consider these three list styles to determine the approach that best fits your work style to put you on your way to more productive days:
Categorized lists. Most people start with a daily to-do list, focusing just on the most urgent tasks for the day. Once you’ve mastered that approach, try looking ahead to the future to help you meet your goals. For this technique, you might consider an annual list or even a life list to help put the big picture in perspective and make it more manageable to accomplish your desires. Others go so far as to categorize their time to focus their attention on different types of tasks on different days.
To-do vs. done lists. Another option is to use lists to catalog both the items you need to do and those you’ve already completed. A “done list” can be a motivating factor in pushing forward with your to-do list by letting you see your accomplishments in writing.Bullet journaling. The bullet journal approach is a four-step process designed to make the to-do list less of a chore and more efficient. A step-by-step guide shows you how to create more productive lists you can easily reference in the future.
(BPT) - It’s fair to call Charger a bull in a china shop. Well, at least a pit bull. The charming nine-year-old has a full-time job in the marketing department at dinnerware giant Replacements, Ltd.
“Charger’s been coming to Replacements since I rescued him from the side of a road as a puppy, so he’s really grown up here,” says Kevin Boyd. “Coming to work is great for Charger because he’s able to engage with people and other dogs so it’s really helped him become more sociable; he has so many friends who give him treats or want to take him for walks. Having him here helps me relax because I know he’s not home alone and really creates special moments in the day, like having him sit in my lap while I’m working.”
Charger is among dozens of pets you’ll find at Replacements. A walk through the warehouse and you’ll see dogs riding on carts pushed by their owners or perhaps encounter a cat or two. An opossum riding high on the shoulder of her human friend even graced the company's retail store with a visit.
Replacements implemented its pet-friendly policy more than 20 years ago, after Founder and CEO Bob Page received a dog for his birthday and couldn't bear to leave him home alone. Fast-forward two decades, and national and international media have repeatedly recognized Replacements as one of the top pet-friendly businesses in the country. The company invites all employees and customers to bring their pets to work or shop; in fact, Replacements’ front doors read, "All Well-Behaved Pets Welcome."
Gaining scientific support
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University spent a week at Replacements, focusing specifically on the impact of dogs in the workplace. The VCU team monitored stress levels among three test groups: those who brought their dogs to work every day, dog owners who left their pets at home, and those who do not own any pets.
"We were surprised to find that stress actually decreased throughout the day among those who brought their dogs to work, while stress levels significantly increased for those who left their dogs at home," says principal researcher Dr. Randy Barker. "About half of those who bring their dogs to work said their productivity increased with their dog present. Some employees even commented that the presence of pets increases cooperation and builds relationships among coworkers.”
Barker also notes employees overall had higher job satisfaction than industry norms. He believes establishing pet-friendly policies could be a great benefit that doesn't hamper a company's bottom line. "I think leadership in many organizations may be hesitant to allow animals in the workplace, but our study indicates pet presence may serve as a low-cost wellness intervention that may enhance organizational satisfaction and perceptions of support."
Getting started as a pet-friendly workplace
Replacements hears from large and small companies across the country wanting to start similar practices and policies. Their best advice? Start small.
“Consider having a pilot day to gauge how a pet presence works for your organization,” says Public Relations Manager Lisa Conklin. "You might try allowing pets for a half day or a Friday to determine the best fit for your employees and your business. Being pet-friendly is truly a huge part of our corporate culture — so many of our employees tell us it’s one of the best benefits the company offers."
Replacements' formal pet policy requires all animals must be current on vaccinations, polite to people and other pets, and stay on a leash near their owners unless contained in an office or cubicle space. Owners are also required to clean up after any accidents.
Conklin adds pet owners must be sensitive to the fact some people have allergies or may be fearful of animals. Likewise, other employees aren't allowed to aggravate or intimidate pets. "We've seen many instances where employees actually got to know each other better through their pets. Seriously, it's hard not to smile when you're greeted by a wagging tail and friendly face!"
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